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Old 05-22-2013, 09:29 PM
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Cool food frenzy

I'm on day 4 and I can't stop eating carbs. I feel like I'm constantly looking for something to munch on and I'm not eating as healthy as I usually do. I know that when I drink, I am fairly strict with food, and avoid carbs in the forms of white flours and sugars. I tend to prefer to drink my calories than eat them. Now the opposite is happening and it's all fattening, and mostly sugary food. I want to get back on track, but fear that I'll give in to the alcohol cravings. I have about 10-15 pounds to lose....and I'm afraid I've gained 5 over the last 4 days (too scared to look).

Any advice?
One reason I'm quitting is to be all around healthier, and I feel establishing poor eating habits now will be just exchanging one bad habit for another.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:32 PM
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Try not to worry about it. I'm on day 29 and had very intense carb cravings for the first two weeks... It's just our bodies being used to the junk carbs in alcohol. I've let myself eat lots of whole grain pasta, sandwich rounds and popcorn and I've still lost about 5 lbs. over the last month.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:35 PM
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ElegantlyWasted: I love your screen name!
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:39 PM
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Amanda, I have close to 4 months sober and my diet is still a bit screwy. I craved a lot of sugar at first too, and soda tasted better than ever. I thought I was going nuts until I asked around about it and this is common when we first quit alcohol, which used to be our main source of carbs. Trying to replace that with candy and donuts is almost instinctive. I hate the weight roller coaster but I do enjoy being sober. It's a relief to wake up refreshed and being able to remember day-to-day things. The sobriety part is the most important thing you can do for your overall health, congrats on your decision to take action!
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:54 PM
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Congratulations! What you're feeling is exactly how i felt! I'm at 101 days of sobriety and my sugar cravings are slowly, but not yet completely, subsiding. I was told not to worry about it that my sobriety came first & the rest would fall into place. I was shocked when I saw my primary care doctor at almost 50 days and up 10lbs. I was sure I was going to get a lecture, but her response was... "We can work on weight later... Consider your sobriety your priority!"

Keep up the good work!
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:54 PM
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Amanda, me too on the carbs and, as others have said, this is common apparently. I also thought I was going to lose a ton of weight (not literally although that might be nice ) after cutting out my bottle+/day wine habit. But I did not. I gained instead. About five pounds but I am only 5'3" so that's a lot for me. I needed to lose about the same before that so I wasn't thrilled with being faced with the extra gain.

However, I think at four days you need to cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a break right now and then try to get a healthy routine established and replace some of those junk food/carb sugars with natural sugars like fruit, etc. My cravings for sugar and carbs started to decrease after about the first month to month and a half so hang in there.

And, as everyone else said, sobriety and your health is so worth it. It'll even out, truly.

Congrats on four days, that is awesome!
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
ElegantlyWasted: I love your screen name!

Thanks! Got it from an INXS song. Seemed kinda' appropriate.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
I'm on day 4 and I can't stop eating carbs. I feel like I'm constantly looking for something to munch on and I'm not eating as healthy as I usually do. I know that when I drink, I am fairly strict with food, and avoid carbs in the forms of white flours and sugars. I tend to prefer to drink my calories than eat them. Now the opposite is happening and it's all fattening, and mostly sugary food. I want to get back on track, but fear that I'll give in to the alcohol cravings. I have about 10-15 pounds to lose....and I'm afraid I've gained 5 over the last 4 days (too scared to look).

Any advice?
One reason I'm quitting is to be all around healthier, and I feel establishing poor eating habits now will be just exchanging one bad habit for another.

Hang in there! I'm an "Atkin's guy", or rather a person that takes that and Paleo into account. I'm also a chef, so the empty carb calories drive me nuts. It really took a while for me to come thru and "out the other side." When I first quit drinking it seems I was shoveling donuts into my face! I gave myself permission to eat lousy if in exchange for it I didn't drink. But since health was a big reason I quit, this couldn't last.

It did take maybe 6 months, though! Partly it was because I quit just before the holidays. That's a super busy time to work in a restaurant, and the winter was beginning, too.

Now I'm doing a lot better with the diet and still not drinking.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:07 AM
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Amanda I did the same thing I gained 7 pounds the first week of sibriety! I let myself have that week to eat everything I never let myself eat hence the 7 pound gain!

After that I was resumed my super healthy diet and lost 14 pounds over the next 5 weeks. Which put me below my goal weight and really helped me to stay sober. You defintely can loose weight after quitting drinking.

Just don't think of it as dieting. I use an app called myfitnesspal and its tracks everything I maje sure I get all my nutrients that us big drinkers often lack. It has been a great distraction watching my body change and become healthy once again!

Good luck
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:50 AM
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Like others have shared, it's the body craving the empty carbs it used to get through booze.

Do what you have to do to stay sober, but I honestly think that continuing to indulge the beasts keeps the cravings lasting longer, because there is a chemical link in the messages to and from the brain when we eat empty carbs.

Options...and I truly believe they will help you get past the mad carb craving sooner, and the booze cravings as well. Drink lots of water. Eat complex carbs instead. Say no to cookies and candy. eat a baked sweet potato, or some nuts, a half a banana, a bowl of whole grain cereal. Add more low fat protein to the diet.

And remember that no matter how edgy we feel, drinking is never the answer. Temptation to drink will probably be a default setting for a little while, but we don't have to go there, we have the option of over riding it.

sugar is never the answer either.

I have eating disorder as well, so the above is sort of a mantra to me.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:01 AM
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I am also afraid I'm going to gain a load of weight. With the stress I've been under recently, I've been kind of telling myself, "Well, if I can't drink then surely I deserve all this food!" I have eaten probably 7 cheeseburgers in the past week, and I NEVER usually eat that kind of food. It doesn't normally even appeal to me, so I don't know why I'm craving them. I already have 10-20 lbs to lose (that I have gained over the past year or two) so I don't want to gain any more. I think we should cut ourselves a little slack though. This is a stressful time. And we can always lose weight a little later. It's not our top priority right now. That said, I'm going to try to be a little healthier... maybe get chicken next time instead of hamburger.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for the advice. Just got on tge scale and i lost .2 pounds. Maybe that teeny, tiny victory will kick me into gear. I already have a healthy salad packed for lunch. Maybe some oatmeal for breakfast will do the trick. Promised my daughter a bike ride to the park after dinner. Trying to find balance....
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:41 AM
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Of course you're going to eat more right now! Putting on a few L.Bees (as you can tell from the replies), seems to be more of the rule than the exception.

IPM suggested the myfitnesspal app- it's AWESOME! You can even track your calories by scanning the bar code of what you're eating. I did manage to lose weight when I actively used it.

Here's the thing with booze- your body will use booze calories before "real food" calories. Because of the sugar and carbs. So when you drink and eat your body will process the booze and use it for energy first, then store your leftover food calories = fat. When you drink booze and DON'T eat your body uses the booze for energy, but it's devoid of nutrients.

This is actually the perfect storm for metabolism destruction. Body working overtime to process sugars(alcohol), dehydration, malnourishment. So 4 days in- your body is "holy crap where's my sugar?" Thus cravings. So you eat more nutrient dense food (compared to booze anyway), and your body is all "OMG it's FOOD! store it away for when she stops feeding us again!!" Or, "processing all this food is too much work, we're tired- toss it on the thighs." Also, if you've upped your water intake (and you should!), but previously weren't drinking enough, or had booze zapping your reserves- your body will initially retain more fluid in compensation for the dehydration.

Your cravings are part of the quitting process. Your body is trying to fill the nutrient and sugar gap, not just the booze gap. I really believe you should go with it for now. When I don't eat and drink properly, my alcohol cravings are MUCH worse! (1 week and 2 days in.). You're already fighting your desire to drink. Dieting right now, could easily lead to a relapse IMO.

In the longterm- you will get back to eating like normal (which for you- sounds pretty healthy). Try to stay active. The metabolism is like a muscle. I've used mine the wrong way for a while so it's injured. It's taking a rest! Lol. But as it heals, I'll be able to use it more -in the right way- and eventually, it will be strong and more effective! That's going to take time.

Congrats on 4 days! :-)
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:57 AM
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I've been drinking loads of water. I bought sparkling water and also low sodium club soda. I pour the water into one of my lovely big wine glasses and then add a squeeze of fresh lime. It's quite refreshing and I like the bubbles - adds an extra zip to the water. Of course, I'm peeing a great deal but that helps to get rid of the excess bloat.

Another thing to help with the sugar cravings is to eat chocolate. Not chocolate bars, but, pure chocolate. I eat a couple of 90 percent cocoa squares and it really helps with the cravings, plus it is packed with antioxidants and is not high in fat or calories. I think 3 squares is about 170 cals. It also helps satisfy hunger cravings.

I am 2.5 weeks into sobriety and it appears I've lost about 5 pounds. Not sure because my scale broke (no, it wasn't because of me stepping on it). So, I had to buy a new scale and I am not sure about the calibration on it.

I do notice that my cravings are the most severe at night when I am about to sleep.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Genie View Post
(no, it wasn't because of me stepping on it).
This really made me laugh!! TY
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:07 AM
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I agree to lighten up on yourself (pun intended ), but to be vigilant at the same time. It's real easy to swap addictions, and while sugar and carbs don't spin the same web as alcohol, they can be just as deadly.

I firmly believe that we have to address the nature of the beast also. Just putting down the drink is not going to be the cure for most people. Are you doing anything else to grow and change into a person who doesn't need nor want to drink anymore?
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:18 AM
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For me, I needed to focus on recovery. The rest worked itself out. I gained 40 pounds in my first year of sobriety. I said to myself right before hitting my bottom that I would rather be fat and happy than addicted and skinny.

Of that 40 pounds, half came back off by year 3. I got to a place where I could incorporated healthy eating and exercise into my routine. Not all at once, though. In sobriety I can do a lot of things, even quit smoking cigarettes, but I understand that I'm not going to implement a bunch of things all at once. Give time time.

Glad you're here.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:52 AM
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I'm on day 5 and I feel like I'm constantly starving! I can't sleep, am in a terrible mood and can't concentrate. I had two breakfasts and am about to have a snack before my evening meal. On the upside I've had no alcohol and 1 cigarette.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:13 PM
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Thanks everyone! And Genie....you made me laugh, thanks for that. I am a professional dieter. I've been on a diet for over half my life. I've been considered "skinny" for a few months before I got married 6 years ago. The rest of the time I've been either average, about 5-10 pounds over my ideal weight, or pregnant and huge! I know exactly what I should be eating. I know I should be measuring portions and I KNOW that grazing like a cow all day is a recipe for disaster. I know to focus on sobriety, but I tend to make excuses for myself with food the same way I do with alcohol. Both my pregnancies I gained 60-70 pounds and had to really diet to get it off. Still working on losing from baby #2. I've done medifast and it works, but I'm not going to do that again until I'm about 3 months sober. It's just too strict (although I did manage to continue drinking while on it and STILL lose 20 pounds in 2 months).

Anyway, this is turning into a thesis. Thanks for all your help!
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